Former employee alleges Sen. Katie Muth bullied staffers, kept an “abusive environment”

A former employee of Senator Katie Muth claimed in a 2020 Facebook post that the senator bullied her staff and that the first-term senator “created an abusive environment in her office.”

These allegations against Muth are all the more serious when they are coupled with other information showing that Muth’s office has been rocked by an unprecedented staff turnover, with the majority of the staff hired for her leaving less than a year after they started, according to an analysis by the Senate documents from width + freedom.

Of the 28 employees hired by the Montgomery County Democrat since December 2018, six have served 70 days or less. Many of those with the shortest tenures held the highest responsibilities, such as chiefs of staff, deputy chiefs of staff, or directors of communications.

The records also show in Muth’s three and a half years in the Pennsylvania Senate that she had four directors of communications and four chiefs of staff.

Overall, 17 of the 28 who worked under Muth left their employment less than a year after their hire date.

Looking at those raw numbers in a way, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that more than half of their employees have left in less than a year, but such a characterization would also rightly underestimate the matter. Since Senate offices typically have around 7-10 employees, it would be more accurate to say that their office experienced a turnover of almost 200 percent in their first term.

Records show in Muth’s three and a half years in the Pennsylvania Senate that she had four directors of communications and four chiefs of staff.

Angelique Hinton, who is listed as a former community organizer for Muth, slammed her old boss in a 2020 post on Facebook.

Hinton’s post included a screenshot of a tweet Muth made shortly after the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, in which Muth noted the fact that Bryant had been accused of sexual assault earlier in his career.

“That she should choose this moment to deepen the pain that so many are experiencing comes as no surprise to me or any of the people who worked for her and have filed several RELIABLE complaints against her with the Senate,” Hinton wrote.

“Katie should focus on giving a voice to those she has bullied and abused at work and stop being a hypocrite! It either fired or expelled at least nine people in its first year. All of these people, myself included, have lost their health insurance, their income, their livelihood… she should focus on helping them instead of hurting others. Abuse is abuse and she practices an abusive environment in her office.”

Also Read :  Eco-Friendly Cleaning for a Healthier Indoor and Outdoor Environment 

The post was liked by another former collaborator, Sharyn “Amy” Menache, who simply said, “Thanks! Signed one of the 9.”

Muth employees with the shortest tenure include:

— Jennifer Brown, communications director, left the company after 69 days

— David Cohen, chief of staff, left the company after 64 days

— Michael Connelly, deputy chief of staff, left the company after 67 days

— Diamonic Holmes, communications director, left the company after 41 days

— Sharyn Menache, Executive Administrator, left the company after 69 days

— Alia Tanko, chief of staff, left after 70 days

Three former Muth employees who reached for this article declined to comment. Requests for comment from numerous other employees went unanswered or were unsuccessful.

The data becomes even more dramatic when you compare it to four other Democratic senators, all of whom were first elected in November 2018 — at the same time as Muth.

Sen. Lindsey Williams: One employee left in less than a year. Only one chief of staff hired. No communications director has ever been hired.

Sen. Steve Santarsiero: In less than a year, zero employees have left. Two chiefs of staff hired, one communications director.

Sen. Tim Kearney: Six employees have left in less than a year. One chief of staff hired, two communications directors.

Sen. Maria Collett: Four people remain in less than a year. One chief of staff hired, one communications director gone (possibly two communications directors, depending on whether “communications/social media director” also counts as communications director).

The number of employees who have left in less than a year under Senator Muth is 50 percent higher than combined overall her other four Democratic peers who were elected in 2018.

When Savannah Thorpe, press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, was contacted solely for comment on the personnel analysis, she requested it through an unnamed attorney width + freedom contain the complete and unedited quotations from Sens. Muth and Costa. Although we believe that we are not obliged to comply with this request because the offers were sent without prior agreement, we still choose to comply in this case.

Also Read :  Measures being taken to protect people from harmful health environment: Basharat

“I am grateful for the hard work of all staff who have taken on the challenge of serving our constituents both in the legislature and in our county offices. I was elected to serve the public by promising to work to solve the many issues facing our communities, and that mission requires that I and my team hold myself and my team to high standards of performance,” Muth said width + freedom.

“When I first ran for office, I made a commitment to challenge the status quo and corruption in Harrisburg and fight for real change for working people, no matter who stood in the way. I am proud of the victories my team and I have achieved for our district and if I am re-elected my team and I will continue to fight for the residents of Senate District 44 and all of the Commonwealth.”

While Muth made this comment on the personnel analysis, she did not comment on follow-up questions about the Hinton allegations. Muth’s office also did not answer a question about which employees were fired and which were fired.

Becky Corbin, a Chester County Republican who previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, said personnel records should be a red flag in Harrisburg.

“I was sworn in on January 1, 2013. I served six years, my career ending on November 30, 2018. During those six years, I had four associates, which I started on January 1, 2013, and you were with me when I left office,” Corbin said .

“I didn’t have any sales. I hadn’t left anyone. When someone can’t keep staff for a year – like she’s losing people – that’s just horrifying to me. I think the leadership of the Democratic Group should be concerned about employees who are unable to continue their employment with a state senator,” Corbin concluded.

Only one in fifty other state senators even comes close to matching the high attrition rate of Senator Muth’s office — but his office turnover rate comes with a major caveat.

Republican Senator Doug Mastriano, also the party’s nominee for governor this year, has fired six employees in less than a year.

However, when Mastriano fell out with fellow Republicans over the possibility of a 2021 election review last August, Senatorial Majority Leader Jake Corman hired three of Mastriano’s associates. This is reflected in the data, as three Mastriano employees indicate August 19, 2021 as the end dates.

Measuring turnover for Senate leadership is a bit more difficult, since a Senate majority or minority leader has under him dozens of additional staffers who serve the party’s caucus as a whole. For example, the website and company Legistorm, which tracks a great deal of information about members of Congress and their staff, refuses to include leadership in its “bad boss” calculations, which are primarily based on staff turnover.

Also Read :  Former Geneva health, fitness advocate dies of pancreatic cancer – Shaw Local

Even before Muth was elected, while she was campaigning in 2018, there were signs that working for her could be a precarious proposition.

In a 2018 interview with slateMuth predicted to the reporter that one of her employees could soon get the ax and that her campaign has seen frequent turnovers at the highest level.

When Muth complained to the reporter about a broken printer, an employee tried to turn the situation into a political joke.

“‘Maybe it’s the Russians,’ says Nate Craig, who Muth later whispers may not be destined to last long as a coordinator for her volunteers. (She’s already fired two campaign managers.),” Slate reported.

All of Muth’s hiring decisions have been about efficiency, Costa said. He dodged questions about whether his office, as leader of the Senate Democratic faction, had ever received complaints from staffers about the atmosphere in Muth’s office.

“Senator Muth works hard and I am proud to serve at her side. Sen. Muth won her seat by promising to fight tough battles for her constituents, and thanks to the team she put together, she did,” Costa said.

“She expects a lot from herself and her employees, and she has made staffing decisions that allow her to get the job done. I am grateful for the service of everyone who has worked with her and I look forward to working with her and her team to continue to deliver for the 44th District.”

Although Muth’s office did not respond to a follow-up request for comment on Hinton’s Facebook allegations, Costa did.

“Senator Muth has never been found to violate any Senate workplace policy,” Costa said. “All allegations were met with a thorough standard Senate Human Resources investigation that never yielded negative findings and never saw any disciplinary action.”

Senate District 44 is primarily in Chester County, but also includes portions of Montgomery and Berks counties.

Todd Shepherd is the chief investigative reporter for Broad + Liberty. Send him tips to [email protected] or use his encrypted email to [email protected] @shepherdreports

Source link